Lions claw back to down Port Adelaide - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions claw back to down Port Adelaide

By Jim Morton 22/08/2009 11:12:21 PM Comments (0)

Under-achieving Port Adelaide's inconsistent season of woe hit a new low as their unlikely AFL finals hopes unravelled under a stunning Brisbane Lions comeback at the Gabba.

For the second time in consecutive seasons, the Power held a 47-point lead to the Lions before falling in a massive hole.

Brisbane conceded 10 goals in the first quarter and had three men injured at halftime but managed to steamroll the visitors in the second half for a thrilling 16.11 (107) to 14.8 (92) triumph.

The 26,437-strong crowd was in raptures as the Lions kicked the only four goals of a tense final term to complete a 62-point turnaround.

In a match of football which epitomised Port's season, the ninth-placed Power ran out of puff to register just three behinds after holding a nine-point advantage at the last change.

It has left them requiring eighth-placed Essendon to lose their final two matches, including Sunday's trip to Fremantle, to remain a shot of a finals berth.

Brisbane's courageous comeback, highlighted by a brilliant 31-touch display by Luke Power and five goals to Daniel Bradshaw, keeps their hopes of a first-week Gabba play-off alive.

They remain in seventh place but a win against the Swans in Sydney will lift them above either Adelaide or Carlton who meet in the final round.

Port, desperate to end a seven-match losing streak, kicked an amazing 10 straight in the first term, including eight of the first nine goals, to hold a 40-point lead.

Veteran spearhead Warren Tredrea kicked three goals and Daniel Motlop two in the first-quarter annihilation as Port hit the mark from all angles.

They led by 47 late in the quarter but had that whittled down to 17 at halftime as they could only manage four behinds in the second term as Brisbane upped their almost non-existent pressure.

While Port lost their run in the second term and the Lions kicked four majors, including two to Bradshaw, the home side still let themselves down with some poor kicking around the ground.

Cheynee Stiller was the worst culprit before he was stretchered off before halftime following an ugly but accidental late hit by Brett Ebert.

Brisbane also lost full-back Daniel Merrett to a thigh injury and then ruckman Mitch Clark fainted at halftime to be three men down at the start of the second half.

But Stiller and Clark both returned midway through the third term as odds-on Rising Star tip Daniel Rich kicked a booming 75m goal from the cricket square to close within 11.

Lions coach Michael Voss hailed the "special" victory as his side's best of the season.

"It wasn't the best we've played for the year but it was the best win," he said.

"It was a reward for persistence and a reward for courage.

"I take my hat off to them because it was a remarkable effort to do that.

"This group has an amazing ability not to throw (the towel) in."

Power coach Mark Williams cut a shattered figure after the match and wrote off Port's chances of making the eight.

A frustrated Williams lamented his team's inability to get inside their forward 50 in the second and third quarters and rued turnovers and a lack of run.

"Our mental belief and courage is certainly very flimsy at the moment," he said.

"It's frustrating. Turnovers, not running hard enough, kicking the ball to the opposition, that really hurt us."

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